As I scour the web collecting the works of today’s emerging writers I try to read as much as possible. Those I particularly like I’ll be posting here each week. They aren’t in any particular order and should not be construed in any way as a commentary on the schools listed. I just liked them.
1. “Case Studies in Ascension,” by Cody Klippenstein (Cornell University)
Ms. Klippenstein, a fiction student at Cornell, won the Zoetrope: All-Story Fiction Contest in 2012 with this semi-speculative piece about culture, family, and trying to keep from floating away. The contest was judged by Pulitzer nominee Karen Russel and if you’re a fan of hers you’re likely to see more than a little influence in this short story:
2. “Creation Myth,” by Josh Kalscheur (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Mr. Kalscheur’s poem makes use of the eye of a naturalist and recalls for me some of the best points of writers like Anthony Doerr and Katherine Larson. Deceptively simple, it’s one that stuck with me a while after reading.
3. “The Guest Room,” by Alexandra Barkmeier (Indiana University)
Normally I’m a fan of long sprawling paragraphs, but the way Ms. Barkmeier’s story unfolds in small staccato moments offers a peculiar sort of meditation that works, in no small part, due to her hyper-efficient language.
4. “Moravia,” by Nick McRae (The Ohio State University)
I don’t pretend to know too much about poetry but I do, as the say, know what I like. And Mr. McRae’s piece here brings together some of my favorite elements from both verse and prose in very interesting ways. A beautiful piece.
5. “What Does Not Belong in Calvary Cemetary,” by Thomas Mira y Lopez (University of Arizona)
Whenever I try to convince people to give Creative Non-Fiction a try, this is always the sort of piece I use to bait them. It’s ostensibly a travel narrative, focusing on a place, but the essay moves in some subtle and downright subversive ways.